One of the best things about being a cigar enthusiast is trying new brands, lines, limited editions, pretty much anything new. With the blend possibilities coming close to infinite, there is always something new for your palate to experience. Then when you include the well-established gems that you just haven't got around to yet, the list of things to try usually outpaces the wallet. Today we're going to dive into Howard G for the first time. Howard Gumbs founded the company in 2020 and has already released numerous lines. A couple of them are based on football with the Leon Searcy 72 and Ike Taylor's 10FAHKINE. Having those players at your first PCA booth is sure to draw attention! Black Moses is another core line and has 3 blends: Natural, Maduro, and Limited. Alright Howard, let's cut up the natural and see what's up.
Cigar: Howard G Black Moses Natural
Size: 6 1/8 x 58
Wrapper: Undisclosed (Habano)
Binder: Undisclosed (Habano)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Estelí, Jalapa)
Pickup up the Black Moses I like what I see. The figurado has a classy & tasteful band that is complimented by a cedar sleeve and orange foot band. It was all smiles until it was time to smoke it. The band was snuggly applied over the top portion of the cedar sleeve which created two problems. This made taking the cedar off a delicate operation as to not destroy the wrapper in the process. The other issue was once the cedar was removed, the band was extremely loose. I kept it on for 1 picture and had to take it off. Undressing the cigar revealed other problems. Gnarly wrinkles in a large area on the wrapper, most seam areas were nice but there where a few openings, and the overall density was light. I still give it an 8 because I had one sample and it has the elements of being a hot looking cigar. This specimen missed the mark though.
As to be expected from the spongey feel, the draw started out wide open. I knew it was a lightweight, so a very small chop was delivered. Most times I am lamenting the fact that everything is so friggin tight, and now the meter is on the other extreme. Luckily after an inch or so, it tightened up enough to not be ridiculous. Enough so that I was still able to nub it.
One thing that became evident quickly is that this cigar smokes itself. Any touches from the flame were only to dress up the burn and was certainly not because of an ignition problem. The ash was flirting with flaky, but did alright. I was surprised because considering the open draw and its willingness to burn, the cigar did not run hot. In fact, I was able to smoke it to the nub. Those pesky open seam lines didn't pose any problems during the session. Everything help up, burn temp what ok, and no ash messes were made.
1/3 - Black Moses Natural starts off with a light body of almonds and cedar. The retro has a very subtle amaretto note with a dry finish. Moving inward I pickup on an interesting lemon taffy. Leather finds its way to the retro. Approaching the 2nd some old hay and bitters arrive.
2/3 - I feel like it has moved into medium territory. Notes are much like the 1st third, though somewhat richer and with the addition of veggie straws. The tail end introduces a spiciness that is a welcome addition.
3/3 - The final third has a spike in spiciness with even more amaretto. A bolder retro now with the finish less dry. Lemon taffy is sadly gone and all that remains are some bitters. Espresso helps close up shop.
My impression of this one is that it has a lot of potential. The look is dapper, it just needs to be dressed properly. The screws on the cigar could be tightened also. There needs to be a minor boost in filler and more attention to the wrapper. That said, it smoked well and had a nice flavor. Transitions were minimal and not overly complex, but I did enjoy it until my lips were getting warm. I'd give Black Moses Natural another 60 minutes, for sure.
**Number of cigars smoked for the review: 1